New Paints Meet the Big Three ChallengesPosted 10/15/2004
By Curt Harler
Paint shop challenges fall into three categories: First is getting nice finishes free of fish eyes and orange peeling. The next level involves cash - easy application, quick curing, proper pricing, speedy turnaround times and keeping the accountants happy. The third hurdle is long term and involves such environmental bugaboos as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and pollutants from leaded or chromed paints. The major paint manufacturers have materials that address all of the big three challenges.
Easy to Apply
"Given that 70 percent of worldwide car manufacturers use waterborne basecoat finishes, it makes sense that collision shops use water-based systems as well," says Darlene Eilenberger, brand manager at BASF. In natural sunlight, it will cure in five to 20 minutes (faster in Arizona, slower in Maine, depending on the intensity of the sunlight). It is an aerosol version of the Glasurit 151-70 product that was formulated for small jobs and cut-throughs. 185-10 has true primer-filler capability so it speeds up small repair jobs. Quick turnaround is important, as is tracking costs (see sidebar on page 40.)
According to Eilenberger, there is no need for mixing or reducing 185-10. The material has unlimited pot life. Unlike other UV-cured coatings, both the 151-70 and 185-10 can be used either as a primer or a filler.
Sometimes, easy paint removal counts, too. Early this summer, Akzo Nobel announced a unique temporary paint system that can be peeled off after use. Called Maskin, the paint can be applied to any nonporous surface - such as a vehicle body or windows - without risk of damage to the original finish. Quickly and easily removed, it is ideal for temporary protection or promotional purposes.
Devised from the latest waterborne technology, Maskin is available in eight basic colors, plus one transparent film, and can be mixed to create a wide spectrum of shades. When no longer required, the film can be peeled and disposed of using standard paint waste removal methods.
Uday Kumar, clearcoat and undercoat manager for DuPont, says their Hypercure Clearcoat D24500S is the fastest baking clearcoat around. "It provides outstanding throughput, premium appearance and the highest energy savings for a force-dry clearcoat. You can buff it out and polish it on cooldown," he says. The D24700S is the air-dry version, eliminating booth heating costs. It will work as a low-bake clearcoat.
The company's Ultraproductive Undercoats are fast, too. They are based on non-isocyanate technology. The 4904S primer-filler is easy to apply and dries fast. "Within an hour of the last coat (in the three-coat process), the surface can be sanded," Kumar says. Their primer sealer lays down smoothly and allows a topcoat to be applied in 15 minutes.
"These materials let you get in and out as soon as possible. They are best for high-yield, high-throughput shops," Kumar adds. Shop owners looking to cut the cost and speed up the process of refinishing plastic parts will like the Permahyd Plastic Cleaning Paste 7081 from Spies Hecker. According to Johannes Fischermann, product manager, it cuts the bake time from the current 60-90 minutes to just 15-30 minutes at 140 degrees.
The material is available in 20-ounce tubes. It is a gray paste that comes with an adhesion brush to handle difficult-to-reach areas. Another time-saver is the company's Permasolid Spectro Surfacer 5400 that is available in six colors: white, black, red, yellow, blue and green. There are 66 color shades displayed on the 5400s fan deck, complete with color formulations.
"It is a cost-effective replacement of top coat and base coat for edging parts, including under hoods, and is suitable as the final color for under hoods," says Fischermann.
The 5400 can be used as a wet-on-wet or sanding surfacer. Applied directly over unsanded factory e-coat, it eliminates the need for sanding.
Sherwin-Williams has an innovative, direct-to-aluminum primer called UltraFill NP-75, which is a real time saver. A closely related material, Squeegee Prime, can be sprayed or applied with a squeegee. James A. Stoneburg, technical vice president at Sherwin-Williams, says using a squeegee instead of a roller eliminates "snowplowing," which is a result of air entrapment. Stoneburg says most painters are comfortable with the process and, since it eliminates the need for masking, lowers the overall cost of repair. Studies show a shop averaging three repairs per day can save $6,110 per year in labor and $8,236 per year in materials. Squeegee Prime is ISO-free and free of lead and chromates.
Two new hardeners and a rapid cure additive are also available from Sherwin-Williams. Each hardener is specific to the type of application, sprayable or spreadable. For added acceleration, UA1 is available when mixing by weight. UA1 accelerates the cure time for both spraying and spreading Squeegee Prime by 65 percent at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is highly recommended to mix NP75 by weight and utilize the Rapid Cure additive, UA1.
BASF has a direct-to-metal urethane primer-surfacer. According to Bradley M. Richards, manager of coatings research and development, three shades can be sprayed as is, or mixed for a specific gray shade.
"They can also be mixed with UNO to create a colored sealer," he says. "These products give the speed and reliability of urethane with the ease and advantages of direct-to-metal adhesion."
There are some eye-catching color enhancements on the market today. Released last August, Standox's Crystal Rainbow was added to the company's exclusive line of colors. "This is a special-effect paint that makes cars sparkle like precious stones," says Petra Schroeder, Standox product manager. It gives a car a 3-D effect. "When exposed to light, these special pigments shine in all colors of the rainbow," Schroeder says.
Crystal Rainbow will enhance any basic color, but it is particularly striking on dark substrates. "Dark blue, green, red and gray are perfect," Schroeder says, "but on a black substrate, it produces a genuine fireworks display of color." The effect is best in direct sunlight.
Another line with great eye appeal is DuPont's Hot Hues. Actually a complete system of custom-finishing products, it consists of special two- and three-stage basecoat colors, clearcoats for outstanding appearance, and undercoats that make vehicle prep easy. According to Dennis Silva, Hot Hues product manager, the line offers "a unique palette of premium colors, specially chosen and developed for the custom car, truck and tuner/sport compact market."
Hot Hues was introduced in phases, beginning last February with 25 factory-packaged special pigment colors and 70 additional colors that can be mixed using special Hot Binders and Balancers. In April, two urethane clears and a high-speed clear were added.
In September, they added custom-designed primers and sealers. "They fill quickly, sand easily and stay in prime for three or four months before topcoating," Silva says. Look for DuPont's candy colors and special-effect pigment on the market in November. There will be 12 candy colors, including red, blue, gold, silver and four bases. This allows 48 different colors.
Nexa Autocolor recently introduced P433-XR13 Galaxy Blue, which joins three existing special effect mixing colors.
All of Nexa's colors are displayed on the company's ColorPlus Car color box's 14,250 color chips. Updated twice a year, it is grouped by motor manufacturer, then by color group and then the variants are shown separately within that color group. The North American update includes one new fancase and 138 new color chips with 73 standard colors, 33 variant chips, four engine bay, five bumper and 23 interiors.
PPG's new brand is called the Vibrance Collection. It showcases hot colors, unique pigments and special-effect finishes, as well as a line of special primers, clears and detailing products.
Mark Rapson, brand manager for PPG Collision Refinish, notes the growing trend toward special-effect finishes in the aftermarket segment. "We have specifically chosen and developed some of the hottest colors and special effects for this new brand and we believe it will create a lot of industry excitement," he said.
PPG is finalizing a new co-branding partnership with Mattel's Hot Wheels to produce 12 anodized-looking Hot Wheels Spectraflame in the Vibrance Collection.
Paints must be HAP-free and low VOC compounds are mandatory. In southern California, for example, clearcoats with 2.1 VOC are mandated. Northern California allows 3.5.
"We are finding a lot of our shops in northern California are using the ChromaClear 2400S, 2.1 VOC clearcoat," says Rafael Ochoa, product specialist for DuPont. While shop owners want to do what is good for the environment, he says they are choosing the 2.1 material for its ease of application and nice OEM-like finish. The price points are similar. "The 2.1 just holds its gloss," Ochoa says.
Materials like BASF's 185-10 meet VOC-compliance standards throughout the country. Spies Hecker's Permahyd Paste is water-based, eliminating the first solvent wipe usually required with other processes. This alone helps cut the total VOC required.
DuPont's Imron Elite system, introduced this spring, is designed for high-performance, low-VOC commercial and fleet refinishing. Based on two-component polyurethane technology, it is low in VOCs, low in HAPS, and formulated lead-free and chrome-free. Imron Elite includes a SS Polyurethane Enamel Topcoat, the BC Polyurethane Enamel Basecoat, and the 8840S Polyurethane Clearcoat. Color coats are compatible with all DuPont OEM/Fleet primer systems. The Clear is compatible with both the single-stage and basecoat.
"Waterborne technology in general, and the Glasurit 90 Line system specifically, are gaining increasing interest and adoption in North America because they are more environmentally friendly," says Anthony B. Dyach, Glasurit product manager. "It meets the most stringent emissions regulations and, in fact, 90L meets the proposed HAPs regulation being considered for the aftermarket." It is the latest and most advanced system offered by BASF.
"Unlike other waterborne systems, the bases do not freeze nor are they affected by short shelf life considerations," Dyach says. Short shelf life can be costly both in replacement costs and rework if the bases are not immediately replaced once expired.
There are many new products under testing by these companies. Sherwin-Williams has a division called Special Vehicle Teams that does nothing but develop custom products and work with revolutionary materials. These workers develop paints for interior and other nonmetal surfaces like mirror housings, door handles and the like. Look for more products like this to work their way into your shop.
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